It is definitely good to learn that the new Union Minister of State for Law and Justice – SP Singh Baghel who is also an MP from Agra again in Western UP and who just recently took over has made it clear that his ministry was open to the setting up of a Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Western UP. But this alone is not adequate and Centre must act fast now. This demand which stands fully justified as the more than 9 crore people of more than 26 districts of Western UP have been demanding the same right since independence and 74 years down the lane, we still see this perfectly legitimate demand is just in the pipeline stage only!
For last more than four decades when I was a very small lad of just 5 or 6 years way back in May 1981, the lawyers of more than 26 districts of West UP under the banner of Central Action Committee constituted to fight the sacred agitation have been regularly striking every Saturday protesting the denial of a High Court Bench even though most of the districts are as far away as 700 to 750 km on an average yet to no avail! Not just this, the lawyers of West UP went on strike and hunger strike in 1978 for a month, in 1989 did padyatra from Rishikesh via Mussoorie to Delhi demanding Bench and again strike for not just one or two or three months but full six months from July to December 2001, for a month in 2009-10, for four months in 2014-15 and for several days every year but again to no avail!
In addition, the lawyers of more than 20 districts of West UP have been regularly meeting under the banner of Central Action Committee in which the President and General Secretary of every District Bar gather along with senior and eminent lawyers to discuss on strategies to further the cause for getting a Bench approved from Centre since last many decades but again to no avail! The lawyers of West UP will again meet on November 10, 2021 in Meerut just like we see in last several decades. One fervently hopes that this will be their last meet and Centre would soon approve two High Court Benches at least just like it did for Karnataka!
The worst part is: Centre in 2008 even after taking memorandum from lawyers of West UP repeatedly decided to create 2 High Court Benches in Karnataka for just 4 and 8 districts respectively at Dharwad and Gulbarga respectively thus slapping the senior lawyers of West UP direct on their face which is most shocking and most disgusting! Nothing on earth can be more unfortunate than this! Yet the lawyers of West UP have always protested in the most dignified manner which has just no parallel!
Oh, no! One more thing is more unfortunate than this. Centre when late PM Mrs Indira Gandhi was in power in mid 1970s decided to constitute Justice Jaswant Singh Commission headed by former Supreme Court Judge – Justice Jaswant Singh to look into where all High Court Benches should be set up and it recommended 3 High Court Benches for undivided UP at Agra, Dehradun and Nainital but most shockingly Centre took the most preposterous decision to not create even a single High Court Bench anywhere in UP even though it implemented the recommendations to create a High Court Bench at Maharashtra in Aurangabad which already had two High Court Benches at Nagpur and Panaji as also at Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and at Madurai in Tamil Nadu!
Why is it that the “poorest of poor” as also women, girl victims, weak, persons suffering physical disabilities among others in West UP which has population of more than 9 crore which is more than the population of several small states put together are all compared to travel most foolishly all the way more than 600 to 750 km on an average not even to “Nawab City” but even further to Allahabad to seek justice? But the people of “Nawab City” can’t travel just about 200 km away to Allahabad to get justice? Is this is what Lord Ram stood for? Is this is what his Ram Rajya stood for? Is Centre not making a complete mockery of Lord Ram and so also of other Hindu holy cities like Mathura in West UP famously known as Lord Krishna’s city and so also at Kashi or Varanasi which is known as Lord Shiva’s city among others? Most disgusting!
Should God worship Centre that please create a High Court Bench in other holy cities also other than “Nawab City” so that people of all religions can benefit equally? All Hindu Gods can give everything to their devotees except High Court Bench in UP as Centre is deadly opposed to it which alone explains that despite lawyers of more than 26 districts of West UP protesting since last more than six decades as pointed out in newspapers like “The Wire” are just not fit to be given a High Court Bench at any cost and under any circumstances! Even lawyers of Lord Krishna’s city that is Mathura in West UP keep striking repeatedly for High Court Bench since last many decades but Centre thinks that it is legally worthless just not fit to be given a High Court Bench under any circumstances! Same is the case with Meerut where temple of Lord Augharnath (Kali Paltan) i.e. Lord Shiva’s temple exist among other holy cities!
None other than the eminent and senior lawyer and former Union Law Minister and former President of Supreme Court Bar Association thrice and so also former Additional Solicitor General of India – Kapil Sibal had himself recommended a High Court Bench in Meerut while he was Union Law Minister as was disclosed by another Union Minister RPN Singh but nearly a decade later we still see no Bench in Meerut. It is in Meerut that former UP CM – Sampoornanand had recommended a High Court Bench in 1955 but again Centre did not accept! Even former PM late Rajiv Gandhi wanted High Court Bench in Meerut but powerful ministers it is said dissuaded him from doing so! Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Opposition leader in Parliament had demanded High Court Bench in West UP yet he too was dissuaded by powerful lobby not to approve a Bench!
The incumbent PM Narendra Damodardas Modi has ensured that not a single High Court is approved anywhere not just in West UP but in any hook and corner of UP even though it is UP which primarily decides which party will rule in Delhi! Modi ensured that for Telangana from where firebrand leader Asaduddin Owaisi and so also the incumbent CJI NV Ramana hails and which has just 3.5 crore population was promptly given High Court itself in 2014 when in June it was created as a separate state but for more than 9 crore people of West UP, it is just not prepared till now for even a single High Court Bench except repeated promises which we have been hearing since ages! The incumbent CM of UP – Yogi Aditynath had thundered with full might for a High Court Bench in Gorakhpur in 1999 while he was MP from there right inside Parliament yet more than 22 years later no action on ground! But he cannot be blamed as it is Centre which has to take the final call on this!
It must be stated rather disconcertingly that it is India’s utter misfortune that UP which has the maximum population more than 24 crore as Yogi Adityanath who is UP CM keeps proudly declaring time and again which is more than the population of many countries including Pakistan whose population is 22 crore, has maximum villages more than one lakh whereas in other states the number of villages don’t exceed 5000 or 6000 at the most, has maximum pending cases about 10 lakh cases as per official figures in High Court and Bench whereas other states like Karnataka which has 3 high court Benches, Maharashtra which has 3 high court Benches, Assam which has 4 high court benches, Madhya Pradesh which has two etc even though they have less than 1 lakh pending cases or just 1 lakh, UP has maximum districts 75 whereas other states have just about 25 or 30 on an average, UP has maximum MPs, maximum MLAs, maximum Mayors, maximum towns, maximum pending cases in lower courts about to touch one crore pending cases whereas other states have comparatively much lesser figures, UP has given maximum PM to India including the incumbent Narendra Modi who is MP from Varanasi, maximum poverty, maximum crime, maximum riots, maximum killings, maximum rape, assault and other crimes against women, etc and is one of the biggest states of India yet has just one high court bench created way back in 1948 on July 1 at Lucknow which is just about 200 km away from Allahabad where the high court itself is located! Seventy three years have lapsed but till now in November 2021 no bench has been created in any other part of UP even though the former UN Secretary General Ban ki moon had slammed UP as the “rape and crime capital of India”! All true Indians must hang their head in shame at this despicable act!
All Benches in India must be disbanded right now itself if West UP and UP cannot have more High Court Benches! How can CJI and Apex Court keep looking just the other way and why can’t it take suo motu cognizance on this also just like it took recently on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident? Supreme Court has grievously erred on this in last 74 years of independence!
It is most shocking that UP which is among the largest States, has maximum population – more than 24 crore, maximum districts – 75, maximum constituencies – 80, maximum MPs – 80, maximum MLAs – 404, maximum PM including Narendra Modi who represents Varanasi as an MP, maximum pending cases – more than 10 lakh and here too West UP accounts for more than half of pending cases as noted by Justice Jaswant Commission about 57%, maximum cases in lower courts about to touch 1 crore and more than 97 lakh right now, maximum Judges both in High Court – 160 and also in lower courts, maximum vacancies of Judges both in High Court and also in lower courts, maximum members in UP Bar Council more than 1 lakh and which is also the largest Bar Council in the world as claimed in the website itself of UP Bar Council yet the former Chairman of UP Bar Council – Darvesh Yadav who was the first woman to get appointed to this post was murdered cold blooded right in court premises in Agra which is again in West UP on June 12, 2019 by pumping bullets on her head and stomach, maximum poverty, maximum villages more than one lakh the exact number being 107040, maximum gram panchayats at 74626, maximum fake encounters killings, maximum custody killings, maximum dowry cases, maximum bride burning cases, maximum cases of human rights violations, maximum robberies, maximum dacoities, maximum undertrials, maximum cases of crime, loot, arson and riots and here too West UP tops with Saharanpur riots, Meerut riots, Muzaffarnagar riots tarnishing our international reputation to the extent that former UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon termed UP as “crime and rape capital” of India and what not yet Centre till now end of 2020 from 1948 when a bench was created in Lucknow which is so close to Allahabad is not prepared to create even a single bench for not just West UP but for the entire UP? Area of West UP is 98,933 square km and accounts for 33.61 percent of total area of UP and has 26 districts yet no bench but Lucknow with just 62,363 square km and 12 districts has a bench! Allahabad High Court is biggest High Court in whole of Asia as was claimed by Yogi Adityanath and also is one of oldest High Court and UP Bar Council has maximum members yet has least Bench just one and so very near to Allahabad which is nothing but most senseless, shameless and stupid decision perpetuated since independence and not rectified till now!
Why is it that the people of West UP of more than 20 districts foolishly were compelled and are still compelled most senselessly, shamelessly and stupidly to travel all the way to Allahabad which is far away even from Lucknow where High Court Bench is located and averages 600 to 700 km on an average but the people of Nawab City i.e. Lucknow cannot travel even 200 km away to Allahabad? Most shamefully and most disgracefully, why no one cares for poorest of poor, women and infirm and physically handicapped people who can’t travel so far easily and Centre is most happy by inaugurating an international airport at Kushinagar and now again at Jewar in West UP which is a very good thing but why so miserly on High Court Bench for West UP which will benefit all whether poor or rich or Hindu or Muslim or of any other religion? Centre must act!
It cannot be lightly dismissed that none other than the former CJI Ranjan Gogoi while in office as CJI had categorically appreciated the dire need of a High Court Bench in West UP when a woman lawyer named KL Chitra raised this burning issue in her PIL but Gogoi made it clear that it was for the Centre to take the final call on this! But Centre led by PM Narendradas Damodardas Modi is very firm that what Jawaharlal Nehru did in 1948 to allot Bench only for “Nawab City” should be always maintained and in his 7 years he has proudly done that about which I myself feel most ashamed as the most historic recommendations of 230th report of Law Commission recommending creation of more Benches have been thrown in the dustbin! This despite the irrefutable fact that BJP tall leaders like Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister like Gen VK Singh among others have always reiterated their support for a Bench as the people of more than 22 districts are compelled to travel whole night and half day all the way to Allahabad most foolishly which is truly incomprehensible!
Even Supreme Court has no valid reason to justify this worst stupidity on earth! It is akin to what all the PM have done from 1955 till 2021 that only Hindus have been banned from polygamy and not Muslims as my best friend Sageer Khan used to always lament which he said cannot be justified under any circumstances! He used to ask his own Muslim brothers as I saw from 1993-95 that, “Are Hindus second graded citizens in India that they have been barred from marrying more than one and if they want to marry more than one they have to first convert to Islam which is the worst crime even though earlier in British India, Mughal India and even earlier Hindus could marry as many as they liked? Muslims enjoy maximum liberty in India all over the world as can be seen from this but discriminating between Hindus and Muslims is most unfair and cannot be justified under any circumstances. Hindus are most tolerant and they have so quietly accepted all this but no PM can ever dare abolish polygamy among Muslims as they know that Muslims are not Hindus who will tolerate everything so quietly and humbly.” The same holds true for High Court Benches also!
Why only Eastern UP has both High Court and a single Bench and West UP, Purvanchal and Bundelkhand have not even a single Bench anywhere! Supreme Court and so also the CJI have not covered themselves with glory by leaving everything on Centre alone! Supreme Court is final but it cannot be always infallible! It has grievously erred by not doing anything on this since last nearly 75 years! Let’s fervently hope that better sense prevails on CJI NV Ramana who himself worships in Varanasi as we saw recently and Apex Court also on this burning issue also as this will benefit directly most the poorest of poor, women, aged and the needy people who cannot afford to travel by plane!